Nightly News   |  January 21, 2014

‘Gaping Holes’ in Sochi Security

Russia says that, on one hand, there’s no security problem, but also says several suicide bombers are on the loose – many of them women. Officials worry the torch relay could become a target.

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>>> late today we learned the president of the united states and the president of russia have spoken by phone. as concern grows over terrorist threats against the upcoming winter olympic games in sochi , opening ceremony again just 17 days away now. tonight there's word that one of the suspected terrorists has already been taken out. we have two reports beginning with our chief foreign correspondent richard engel in moscow tonight. richard, good evening.

>> good evening, brian. on the one hand, russia says that there is no security problem, that everything is under control. but it also says that several suicide bombers are on the loose, many of them women.

>> reporter: the olympic torch headed closer to sochi today. russian officials worried terrorists are trying to race there too. and that even the torch relay itself could be a target. over the next three days, very specific intelligence and six specific suspects seen in new wanted posters. potential suicide bombers russia says, hunting for targets. one is likely dead already, killed in this gunfight on saturday. but the others, police suspect the two men may be somewhere in southern russia , and the three surviving women, one of them may already be in sochi . they're called black widows , because they became terrorists after their husbands were killed. they were used to take more than 800 hostages in a moscow theater in 2002 . 200 people including the kidnappers, were killed when russian commandos stormed in. most black widows are from an area where russia has a bloody history. its forces killed tens of thousands there in chechnya in the 1990s . yet russian president putin assured the world that the olympics in nearby sochi would be safe, the safest ever. russia built a $2 billion security zone around sochi , a so-called ring of steel. 60 miles long, 25 miles deep, 1500 miles of fences. heavily guarded but perhaps not impen imp impenetrable.

>> there are gaping holes in security in soechy.

>> reporter: militants have had as long to prepare for the olympics as russia , and now they're looking to strike.

>> ominous situation tonight in moscow , richard engel with that.